NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 H2.01-8863
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In-Space Chemical Propulsion
PROPOSAL TITLE: In-Space LOX/Methane Pintle Propulsion Engine (LMPPE) Evaluation and Demonstration

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
KT Engineering Corporation
238 Business Park Boulevard, Building 23B Suite J
Madison, AL 35758 - 7553
(256) 461-8522

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. Pete Markopoulos
238 Business Park Blvd, Bld 23b Ste J
Madison, AL 35758 - 7553
(256) 461-8522 Extension :107

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. Richard Webb
238 Business Park Boulevard, Building 23B Suite J
Madison, AL 35758 - 7553
(256) 461-8522

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
In-Space Chemical Propulsion is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
KTE's proposed innovation is the LOx/Methane Pintle Propulsion Engine or (LMPPE), which can offer higher reliability, lower cost and higher performance than conventional impinging injector-based combustion devices for in space propulsion systems. The concept can be used in both pump and pressure-fed engine architectures. The LMPPE builds upon the Catalytically Initiated Combustor (CIC) igniter technology previously demonstrated to a high TRL coupled with a low cost pintle main injector that has potential to provide a path for a LOx/Methane upper stage engine that is dynamically stable offering high performance with a wide throttle capability over a range of propellant inlet conditions.
The CIC based pintle propulsion engine also offers attractive packaging advantages and improved reliability and operability while reducing development costs and risks for upper-stage engines. The pintle propulsion approach requires looser tolerances of the components and can be successfully fabricated from a number of additive manufacturing approaches. This multi-functional capability will further reduce cost and improve reliability in launch or in-space vehicles by increasing component production rates and reducing part count. The focus of the proposed effort is to prove the feasibility of this novel oxygen/methane pintle engine.
The in-space engine can be designed to operate at lower chamber pressures, lending itself to the use of composite and additive manufactured components. The design offers an inherent combustion stability allowing simpler combustion chamber designs and ease of fabrication due to the omission of complex acoustic damping devices. Therefore, an expensive development programs can be avoided due to the very low risk of combustion instability.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The engine has the potential to be utilized with an efficiently optimized nozzle in a planetary ascent/descent pressure-fed system with a vacuum specific impulse of up to 360 sec with throttling capability for future exploration of Mars. The proposed program addresses the need to support investments on key technologies and design concepts that may transform the path for future exploration of Mars or other near earth objects. Additionally the LMPPE can be used on KTE's Radially Segmented Launch Vehicle (RSLV) family of earth-to-orbit launch vehicles that will provide transportation for NASA payloads ranging from nano-sats to Delta II class planetary missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed program is an enabler to the Radially Segmented Launch Vehicle (RSLV) system currently under development by KT Engineering. KTE has been developing an integrated earth-to-orbit space transportation system, ground infrastructure, and a business concept that challenge aerospace paradigms regarding vehicle design, hardware fabrication, and operations. Several US Government customers, including the US Air Force, US Army, DARPA, and other DOD agencies have, along with NASA, invested over $20M to develop the RSLV to support a wide range of payloads, from nano-sat size to Delta II and EELV-class missions.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
Cryogenic/Fluid Systems
Entry, Descent, & Landing (see also Astronautics)
Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing
Launch Engine/Booster
Maneuvering/Stationkeeping/Attitude Control Devices
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Simulation & Modeling
Spacecraft Main Engine

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37